Chris Bascombe spoke to Steve Rowland, chairman of the Blackpool Supporters Trust, last year about the boycott and the opposition to the Oyston family.
“‘The ethical boycott commenced in 2015,” he explained. “Thousands of fans will never go back to our football club until the Oystons go. We want all supporters across the country to support our campaign. We’d rather Blackpool played in front of no supporters.”
‘To these fans, Blackpool are a grotesque monument to failed governance in English football; the Premier League, English Football League and Football Association failing to prevent a convicted rapist circumnavigating the consequences of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test (ODT).
‘Blackpool chairman Owen Oyston’s imprisonment in 1996 for raping a 16-year-old girl – he was released in 1999, after serving half his six-year sentence – prohibited ongoing association with the club following promotion to the top flight but he did not comply with his disqualification.
‘Last year the High Court ruled the owner ‘illegitimately stripped’ Blackpool of £26.77 million after reaching the top flight.
‘“When the [Premier League] millions poured into Blackpool,” Rowland said, “they were not used to improve the team or the club infrastructure. Promises to complete the stadium and build a fit-for-purpose training facility were broken. We dropped from The Championship to bottom division in four years.”
They are back in League One after last year’s thinly-attended League Two play-off final and the contrast between the subject of some of Moynihan’s most resonant prose about a fine club and its greatest servants and what they have become under Oyston and son could not be more stark. It’s our duty to report on the match but a far more significant and enjoyable victory hopefully awaits the Blackpool fans than anything they could achieve on the field today.